Ayse, 26, a cleaner from Lancaster, and Darrin, 24, from Detroit, Michigan, tied the knot in an online ceremony officiated by the state of Utah, and are now officially husband and wife. A transatlantic couple who met online during lockdown have tied the knot via Zoom – despite never meeting in real life.
Ayse, 26, and Darrin, 24, got together after Ayse joined a Facebook group aimed at pairing up pen pals from around the world.
She started talking to Kenda, 56, who said her son Darrin was a similar age and would love to chat to someone from the UK – despite being based in Detroit, Michigan, US.
The two began chatting as friends in July 2020 but were soon inseparable and on the phone to each other every night, even with the five-hour time difference. After becoming an official item, Ayse began planning a trip to the States to meet her boyfriend for the first time in July – but travel restrictions to the US made this impossible.
The couple continued to share weekly date nights on video calls – ordering each other takeaway food and treats as a surprise each week, and on 21 May 2021 Darrin surprised Ayse even further by proposing.
Knowing it would be a long time before they’d get to meet for the first time, the couple made the brave decision to get married via Zoom, in a legal ceremony officiated in Utah, US. On August 19 this year, Ayse and Darrin officially became husband and wife, supported by a small number of friends and family via video call.
They are still yet to meet face-to-face but speak multiple times a day and are eagerly waiting for Ayse’s visa application to be accepted so they can fully enjoy life together as a married couple.
Ayse, a cleaner, from Lancaster, Lancs, said: “I never imagined this would happen to me in a million years.
“I don’t think anyone expected this when we started talking last year.
“But we’re married and it’s all completely legal and official – I still can’t believe it.
“It’s been really hard not being able to meet properly, but in the long run it will make us stronger because we’ve had to go through all of this to be together.
“We just really love each other.”